Migrants in the Channel: a meeting without the United Kingdom, symbol of post-Brexit

EUROPE-MIGRANTS / FRANCE-CALAIS © REUTERS - POOL

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2 min

The British were turned off after comments by Boris Johnson of the coordination meeting organized by France following the tragedy of the migrants who tried to cross the Calais Passage.

The British Home Secretary will therefore not be there, unlike her European counterparts.

The European Union regrets the absence of the British even if the Channel has once again become one of its external borders.

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The United Kingdom must take its responsibilities and get involved in managing the influx of migrants thronging its shores, says Margaritis Schinas, the European Commissioner responsible for migration issues.

And he drives the point home by recalling that the Brexit slogan wanted by Boris Johnson was after all to regain border control, reports our correspondent in Brussels,

Pierre Bénazet

.

Always conflicting relationships

The remark is obviously an arrow fired at the British government, because the Europeans consider that it is deliberately maintaining an open conflict

with the European Union

, so as to distract the attention of British opinion from the internal problems of the United Kingdom.

And this observation - unofficial - is the same for the fishing license crisis as for the tragedy of migrants.

European Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson had planned to revive British Home Secretary Priti Patel on the issue of police cooperation and information exchange.

She also wanted to discuss the fight against smugglers, their channels and their networks.

She can only regret his absence.

According to human rights defenders, the issue of family reunification must also be raised as the first victim of the shipwreck identified Maryam Nuri Mohamed Amin, a young woman of 24 who wanted to join her husband, living in the United Kingdom, reports our envoy. special in Calais,

Juliette Gheerbrant

.

France and its Belgian, Dutch and German neighbors therefore intend to show that they can act without London.

And if the four countries meeting in Calais take firm measures, they will have the support of the other countries of the Union, currently very sensitive to migration issues, in particular those in the Mediterranean as well as the Balts and Poles.

The Touquet accords: two decades of France-United Kingdom tension

On February 4, 2003, former President Jacques Chirac signed the Touquet accords with British Prime Minister Tony Blair. After the closure of the Sangatte accommodation center, they allow British police officers to control applicants for immigration to the English coast on French soil. France has a duty to welcome immigrants turned back at the border. This causes the British border to slide into French ports. In April 2009, bulldozers destroyed the scattered slums in the Calais region, but they soon began to rebuild themselves: the Calais jungle appeared. To complete this agreement, other treaties were signed over the years. In 2014, 15 million euros were promised by the British to help France. Already in the air,the idea of ​​renegotiating the Touquet agreements has gained political weight in France with Brexit. On January 18, 2018, Emmanuel Macron and Theresa May sign the Sandhurst agreements. London then promises an additional envelope of 50.5 million euros to help with checks on migrants in Calais. The day after the shipwreck of 27 migrants in the Channel, on November 24, 2021, the number two of LFI, Adrien Quatennens, called on BFM TV and RMC to "on November 24, 2021, the number two of LFI, Adrien Quatennens, called on BFM TV and RMC to "on November 24, 2021, the number two of LFI, Adrien Quatennens, called on BFM TV and RMC to " 

renegotiating the Touquet agreements

 ”which“ 

provide for France to be the United Kingdom's gatekeeper

 ”.

►Also read: Migrants: the British more invited to the crisis meeting, Macron tackles “not serious” methods

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